Facebook’s ad goals for the future: simpler and more worldwide


As Facebook makes the world more open and connected, the company is also finding ad revenue in all corners of the globe. As David Fischer, Facebook’s Vice President of Advertising and Global Operations, told the crowd Monday at Kenshoo’s K8 summit in Sausalito, Calif., the company is seeing ad revenue growth in countries that have a growing userbase.

Fischer pointed out that Brazil, Indonesia, Japan and Dubai are all rapidly becoming places where Facebook is seeing increasing ad revenue:

It’s incredibly exciting just to look around the world and see the growth that we’re having. The U.S. is obviously the largest market and the most powerful market for us, but as we go around the world, we see places like Brazil, which has just exploded in the past couple of years. And now, the U.K. number of daily active users is second after the U.S. It was nowhere a few years ago.

[contextly_sidebar id=”f0877dd70b6c197e24ddb24baa476db3″]It’s no secret that Facebook has grown rapidly in the past couple years, with much of the growth coming outside of the U.S. In Facebook’s second quarter earnings report, the company showed that while Facebook daily active user (DAU) numbers in America have risen from 117 million in Q2 2011 to 142 million in Q2 2013. Over that same time period:

  • Europe grew from 127 million to 182 million DAU. Ad revenue in Europe went from $245 million to $451 million.
  • Asia grew from 85 million to 181 million DAU. Ad revenue went from $74 million to $225 million.
  • Rest-of-world grew from 87 million to 195 million DAU. Ad revenue went from $61 million to $202 million.

Fischer talked at K8 about how the engagement rates in those aforementioned countries have really grown too, showing advertisers that not only does Facebook have users in these country — they have very active users.

This could be a less-altruistic goal for Internet.org (as well as Facebook and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s involvement in the project to bring internet access to the world), as Facebook would be the vehicle connecting people in underdeveloped countries. This would lead to more users in countries and give Facebook the first crack at advertising to these new users.

Fischer discussed how the major thing holding Facebook back as an advertising force is the bias that the social network is still the home for minutiae such as cat photos. Fischer said that more advertisers are learning what Facebook can offer in comparison to search giants such as Google and Yahoo, which are dwarfed by Facebook in terms of time spent on site. What Facebook also has, Fischer said, is a larger audience than any other site on the Web and a highly engaged user base:

A lot of people think of us as, “Oh, it’s just a place where a lot of people post photos of their kids and cat videos and things like that.” And then they’re missing the fact that we have a larger audience than anyone else, we have more engagement than anyone else and people are spending more time, and with targeting, the opportunity is there to come and invest and generate healthy return and actually generate sales. … I still think that if you ask people, if you were to have an honest poll right now, my guess is that people would say, “Search does that, Facebook doesn’t really do that.” From our perspective, that’s a big opportunity.

Readers: Are you having more success targeting Facebook ad campaigns internationally?